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    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Matthew and Luke on the year of Jesus' birth (sf Science Stories)

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    (most Christians are not dogmatic on the date)
    Hopefully they are not dogmatic on the year either since Matthew places it during the reign of Herod the Great and Luke places it at the time of the Census of Quirinius a decade after Herod's death.
    Last edited by Rincewind; 04-01-2015 at 09:41 PM. Reason: spelling
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    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    Hopefully they are not dogmatic on the year either since Matthew places it during the reign of Herod the Great and Luke places it at the time of the Cencus of Quirinius a decade after Herod's death.
    Ah yes, our atheopathic mathematician spouts off on issues he doesn't understand, as usual. Yes, Jesus was born a year or two before Herod died, so born around 6 ‘BC’, and Luke, who clearly knew about the major census of Quirinius (Acts 5:37), places Jesus birth in the time of a census before (prōtos) that one.
    “The history of the 20th century is full of examples of countries that set out to redistribute wealth and ended up redistributing poverty.”
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    CC Grandmaster antichrist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Ah yes, our atheopathic mathematician spouts off on issues he doesn't understand, as usual. Yes, Jesus was born a year or two before Herod died, so born around 6 ‘BC’, and Luke, who clearly knew about the major census of Quirinius (Acts 5:37), places Jesus birth in the time of a census before (prōtos) that one.
    there is no evidence that Jesus lived but mountains of evidence that evolution took place that you don't accept. Jesus is only of myth just as there are hundreds of thousands of other god myths. So a scientific stance would be that many so called saviours were around at that time, just as there is now, but none of them has proven supernatural powers.
    Zionism is racism as defined by the UN, Israel by every dirty means available steals land and water, kill Palestinian freedom fighters and civilians, and operates an apartheid system to drive more Palestinians off their land

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    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Ah yes, our atheopathic mathematician spouts off on issues he doesn't understand, as usual. Yes, Jesus was born a year or two before Herod died, so born around 6 ‘BC’, and Luke, who clearly knew about the major census of Quirinius (Acts 5:37), places Jesus birth in the time of a census before (prōtos) that one.
    For starters the theory that there were two governships or that Quirinius would be put in charge of a census (while not governor) is ridiculous and so fanciful that it should be added to your list of arguments that should not be used. It just makes you appear more stupid than is necessary.

    By you reply however i assume that you favour the second (also incorrect) theory that there was a universal census 10 years (or so) before the one of Quirinius? Is that your position or do you still need to be disabused of the notion that Quirinius might have had something to do with a census of Judea during the lifetime of Herod the Great?
    Last edited by Rincewind; 01-01-2015 at 08:45 PM. Reason: fix spelling etc
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    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Regarding the accord of Matthew and Luke on the year of Jesus' birth, I note this ground was covered some time ago in http://www.chesschat.org/showthread....te-for-the-day starting from around post 202. The state of play is as follows.

    (1) Quirinius did not rule Syria twice and certainly was not governer during the lifetime of Herod.
    (2) The idea that Augustus would census Judea during Herod's lifetime is nonsense and if it was to somehow happen under a general Syrian census then Quirinius would have nothing to do with it.
    (3) The theory that protos meant "before" is to suppose that Luke could not write intelligible Greek.No major translation makes that assumption.

    The straightforward explanation is that Matthew and Luke disagree. The natural remedy to this problem is to assume one of them got it wrong and it makes sense to assume Luke is to be trusted above Matthew and therefore Jesus' birth can be dated to around 6-8 AD and well after Herod the Great was pushing up daisies.
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    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    Regarding the accord of Matthew and Luke on the year of Jesus' birth, I note this ground was covered some time ago in http://www.chesschat.org/showthread....te-for-the-day starting from around post 202.
    Yes, we know you don't agree, but why should anyone believe you, since you have no training in NT studies and have an atheopathic religious axe to grind?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    The state of play is as follows.
    (1) Quirinius did not rule Syria twice and certainly was not governer during the lifetime of Herod.
    Sir William Ramsay did not agree. The Greek says, if we take it as the first census, that he was in hegemony over the area as opposed to an official Governor. This is supported by the plausible idea that Augustus would have trusted a top military commander to administer a census rather than the incompetent who was "Governor", Varus.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    (2) The idea that Augustus would census Judea during Herod's lifetime is nonsense and if it was to somehow happen under a general Syrian census then Quirinius would have nothing to do with it.
    Augustus got his own way; Herod ruled at Augustus' pleasure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    (3) The theory that protos meant "before" is to suppose that Luke could not write intelligible Greek.No major translation makes that assumption.
    Major Greek scholars do argue for this translation, which is the way the word is translated in other places with the same grammatical construction, and have done for a long time now, e.g. from the classic “Many superior scholars would render the words thus, ‘This registration was previous to Cyrenius being governor of Syria’—as the word ‘first’ is rendered in Joh 1:15; 15:18.” It's also notable that the earliest critics of Christianity, despite Greek being their native language, didn't raise Luke 2:2 as a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    The straightforward explanation is that Matthew and Luke disagree. The natural remedy to this problem is to assume one of them got it wrong and it makes sense to assume Luke is to be trusted above Matthew and therefore Jesus' birth can be dated to around 6-8 AD and well after Herod the Great was pushing up daisies.
    Modern atheopaths are desperate to find a contradiction where there is none.
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    CC Grandmaster antichrist's Avatar
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    Jono, it is worse than that what atheopaths do - there weren't even any daisies in the Holy Land in Herod the Great's day but Stars of David were plentiful
    Zionism is racism as defined by the UN, Israel by every dirty means available steals land and water, kill Palestinian freedom fighters and civilians, and operates an apartheid system to drive more Palestinians off their land

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    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Yes, we know you don't agree, but why should anyone believe you, since you have no training in NT studies and have an atheopathic religious axe to grind?
    The fact that (unlike you) I have no doctrinal axe to grind means I'm less biased than a village biblical inerrantist like you. After all the only reason you go through this tortured "logic" to try an harmonise Matthew with Luke is because of your a priori religious position. For this reason you don't care which one (if any) of your supposed remedies are closest to the truth. Any will do provided it allows you to maintain your deeply invested position of scriptural inerrency.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Sir William Ramsay did not agree.
    The fact that you had to go back to pre-war "historical" arguments is tell as to how hopelessly out of date you are with actual history.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    The Greek says, if we take it as the first census, that he was in hegemony over the area as opposed to an official Governor. This is supported by the plausible idea that Augustus would have trusted a top military commander to administer a census rather than the incompetent who was "Governor", Varus.
    The idea is neither plausible (because it would be a job below Quirinius' station and Augustus would not have insulted Quirinius in this way, especially if, as you suppose, he as held in high regard by Augustus) nor is it attested to by any evidence whatsoever. Secondly it is nonsensical since at the time Judea was not annexed to Syria and so a census of the territories under the hegemony of Varus (or Quirinius even allowing the nonsense that he may have been specially commissioned by Augustus) would not include Judea in any case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Augustus got his own way; Herod ruled at Augustus' pleasure.
    Augustus was emperor but he was a conspicuously correct one and was by nature and necessity careful to give the impression of following the established Roman constitution and procedure. The client kingdom of Judea was beholden to Augustus and not the Governor of Syria and Augustus would not have had any need to census Judea and if he did demand one to be held it would have been the job of Herod to do it. Regardless Rome would have lacked the manpower to hold a census in Judea in the time of Herod and any move to do so would have been tantamount to a hostile takeover of Judea. Rome did take over Judea a few years after Herod the Great's death but while Herod was in power (and running things very well) there was no reason to upset the apple-cart.

    Again if such an extraordinary census had been held it would have been more famous that the one Quirinius actually did oversee. However there is no mention of it in Josephus or anywhere.

    So it is basically illogical, illegal and not attested to by a single scrap of evidence. If is just something harmonisers need to be true so they don't have to think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Major Greek scholars do argue for this translation, which is the way the word is translated in other places with the same grammatical construction, and have done for a long time now, e.g. from the classic “Many superior scholars would render the words thus, ‘This registration was previous to Cyrenius being governor of Syria’—as the word ‘first’ is rendered in Joh 1:15; 15:18.”
    I don't know of a serious modern argument which has much traction. The 'classic' you quote above dates from 1871 and so it hardly current thought. But it interesting that the analogies cited are wholly in John and there is not a single one from Luke and also your witnesses (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown) go on to say...

    ...But it is perhaps better to suppose, with others, that the registration may have been ordered with a view to the taxation, about the time of our Lord's birth, though the taxing itself--an obnoxious measure in Palestine--was not carried out till the time of Quirinus.
    - from the Commentary on the Whole Bible, Jamieson, Fausset and Brown (1871)

    So they are not convinced by the first means previous theory. However Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's last remark makes no sense for the reasons I have already given as to why a census of Judea at the time of Herod did not occur and would not have been performed by Rome (only by Herod under order from Rome and then it would have been so extraordinary that at least one reference to it should have survived).

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    It's also notable that the earliest critics of Christianity, despite Greek being their native language, didn't raise Luke 2:2 as a problem.
    The earliest critics of Christianity wrote centuries after the fact (e.g. Celsus was late second century) and need not have been familiar with the exact timing of Quirinius' governorship of Syria some 150+ years earlier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Modern atheopaths are desperate to find a contradiction where there is none.
    Not at all. People have long known that Matthew and Luke differed on the year of Jesus' birth. Citing Jamieson, Fausset and Brown (1871) (again) talking about Luke 2...

    a very perplexing verse, inasmuch as Cyrenius, or Quirinus, appears not to have been governor of Syria for about ten years after the birth of Christ
    -op. cit.

    So it is hardly a modern thing.

    It is a simple problem with a simple solution. However the unreasonable and unscientific axiom that the Bible is divinely inspired and inerrant throughout that leads you to favour wild and illogical speculation to try in vain to preserve biblical inerrancy. Highly amusing to watch but embarrassingly unscientific for someone who at one time was trained to think like a scientist.
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    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antichrist View Post
    there weren't even any daisies in the Holy Land in Herod the Great's day
    Perhaps no Bellis perennis but there may have been some Osteospermum.
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    CC International Master William AS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antichrist View Post
    there weren't even any daisies in the Holy Land in Herod the Great's day but Stars of David were plentiful
    Daisy's are very common worldwide & many types would have been found in the Holy Land at that time.
    Bellis perennis is from northern Europe & Osteospermum from Africa & Yemen.
    Daisy's native to Palestine at that time would have included Bellis sylvestris, Glebionis coronarium & of course Jerusalem Artichokes.
    [Not really as they come from America]
    Last edited by William AS; 09-01-2015 at 12:30 AM.
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    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    The fact that (unlike you) I have no doctrinal axe to grind means

    Of of course, atheopaths are the epitome of objectivity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    The fact that you had to go back to pre-war "historical" arguments is tell as to how hopelessly out of date you are with actual history.
    Ramsay was not the only one, and the modern dissenters have not found any actual evidence against his points. They just have their anti-biblical axe to grind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    The idea is neither plausible (because it would be a job below Quirinius' station and Augustus would not have insulted Quirinius in this way,
    How is it insulting to give him charge of a difficult assignment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    especially if, as you suppose, he as held in high regard by Augustus)
    Quirinius was known as a very able military commander.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    nor is it attested to by any evidence whatsoever. Secondly it is nonsensical since at the time Judea was not annexed to Syria and so a census of the territories under the hegemony of Varus (or Quirinius even allowing the nonsense that he may have been specially commissioned by Augustus) would not include Judea in any case.
    Of course it would; Herod was a client king.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    Augustus was emperor but he was a conspicuously correct one and was by nature and necessity careful to give the impression of following the established Roman constitution and procedure.
    Come off it. Rome had never had an emperor before him!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    Again if such an extraordinary census had been held it would have been more famous that the one Quirinius actually did oversee. However there is no mention of it in Josephus or anywhere.
    Argument from silence. The Quirinius census Luke mentions in Acts was well known partly because of the rioting—so well know that he could just call it "the census". What is the evidence that the pioneering one would be better known than one carried out with the experience gained by the one before.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    So it is basically illogical, illegal and not attested to by a single scrap of evidence. If is just something harmonisers need to be true so they don't have to think.
    More of the typical ipse dixits by those desperate to see contradictions where there are none.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    I don't know of a serious modern argument which has much traction. The 'classic' you quote above dates from 1871 and so it hardly current thought.
    One reason is that it's public domain. But famous Oxford classicist A.N. Sherwin-White thought Luke was right, as did a modern Luke commentary by Scots scholar I Howard Marshall.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    But it interesting that the analogies cited are wholly in John and there is not a single one from Luke and also your witnesses (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown) go on to say...
    Unless John and Luke had such radically different uses of Greek grammar, this is meaningless.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    ...But it is perhaps better to suppose, with others, that the registration may have been ordered with a view to the taxation, about the time of our Lord's birth, though the taxing itself--an obnoxious measure in Palestine--was not carried out till the time of Quirinus.

    - from the Commentary on the Whole Bible, Jamieson, Fausset and Brown (1871)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    So they are not convinced by the first means previous theory. However Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's last remark makes no sense for the reasons I have already given as to why a census of Judea at the time of Herod did not occur and would not have been performed by Rome (only by Herod under order from Rome and then it would have been so extraordinary that at least one reference to it should have survived).
    What would you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    The earliest critics of Christianity wrote centuries after the fact (e.g. Celsus was late second century) and need not have been familiar with the exact timing of Quirinius' governorship of Syria some 150+ years earlier.
    They were almost as desperate as RW to find absurd "contradictions". And they were living much closer to the events than RW.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind View Post
    Not at all. People have long known that Matthew and Luke differed on the year of Jesus' birth. Citing Jamieson, Fausset and Brown (1871) (again) talking about Luke 2...

    a very perplexing verse, inasmuch as Cyrenius, or Quirinus, appears not to have been governor of Syria for about ten years after the birth of Christ -op. cit.
    So it is hardly a modern thing.[/QUOTE]
    And also shows how people have been aware of this for a long time.
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    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post

    Of of course, atheopaths are the epitome of objectivity.
    Whether Luke and Matthew agree on this point or not makes no difference to my world view. There are plenty that the synoptic gospels do agree on and it causes me no consternation at all.

    Your world view, on the other hand, is intrinsically coupled to the inerrancy of scripture. You cannot allow the accounts to disagree since if there is any discrepancy then one of them must be wrong and the whole edifice you have constructed based on biblical inerrancy comes tumbling down.

    Blind Freddy can see that you have a lot more at stake than I and this is manifest in your flagrant bias and fanciful invention. You are patently willing to believe anything no matter how outlandish and improbable (or downright impossible) just as long as you don't have to even entertain the possibility that Matthew (or Luke) was mistaken.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Ramsay was not the only one, and the modern dissenters have not found any actual evidence against his points. They just have their anti-biblical axe to grind.
    Not at all. There is plenty of new evidence that has been discovered since and the whole discipline of history has become substantially more scientific over the last 80 years. Do you have any standard historical source for the best case that Quirinius either ruled Syria twice or was assigned to carry out a census under Varus?

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    How is it insulting to give him charge of a difficult assignment.
    For your theory to make sense you should be able to find at least one other example of a Roman of Quirinius' class (consul) who had been given the assignment to undertake a census in a province under the rule of another governor. If it makes as much sense as you say then sure it cannot be a once only event.

    If it is actually beneath his social standing (as I contend) it is only lower class people that would be assigned such menial tasks. It is the job of the govornor who would obviously delegate the actual work to his underlings (who would usually be of the equestrian class or lower)

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Quirinius was known as a very able military commander.
    Yes indeed and had progressed up the ranks so far that the assignment to taking a census in Syria would have been an even bigger slap in the face.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Of course it would; Herod was a client king.
    Client of Rome not subject to the Governor of Syria. As long as Herod paid his tribute to Augustus then there was no official need to hold a census even if there was one being undertaken in Syria by Varus. (Which you have no evidence for anyway).

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Come off it. Rome had never had an emperor before him!
    True but this was done very carefully and with in the existing framework of the constitution. Rather than creating new titles and offices he amalgamated existing roles into a single person and so he was military commander, censor and tribune and adopted the title of First Citizen. All of this was so that the transition to empire was untroubled by conservative resistance. He was emperor but would remember well that Julius was elected dictator for life and look how that turned out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Argument from silence. The Quirinius census Luke mentions in Acts was well known partly because of the rioting—so well know that he could just call it "the census". What is the evidence that the pioneering one would be better known than one carried out with the experience gained by the one before.
    You keep ignoring the problem that there is no evidence for any census before and since the one before would have to be performed by Herod it doesn't make sense since Luke is making clear this was a decidedly Roman census nothing that could have occurred in a client kingdom. It could only be a Roman census if it occurred after Judea was annexed to Syria which happened in 6AD.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    More of the typical ipse dixits by those desperate to see contradictions where there are none.
    No just a recap of the points already made and not countered by you.

    ILLOGICAL : because Judea was not a part of Syria until 6AD and citizens of Judea were not subject to Roman taxes until the annexation. Prior to that Judea's client status was maintained by a fixed tribute that Herod paid to Augustus.

    ILLEGAL : since Herod as king of Judea would have been charged with taking a census of Judea if one was required. There were no overt Roman presence in Judea and thus the means to undertake a census would have to be shipped in and would have made Herod very nervous indeed.

    UNATTESTED : There is no evidence anywhere that Herod undertook a census or that Syria held a census which included Judea prior to 6AD. Had such a thing had occurred it would have undoubtedly have been mentioned by Josephus and others.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    One reason is that it's public domain. But famous Oxford classicist A.N. Sherwin-White thought Luke was right, as did a modern Luke commentary by Scots scholar I Howard Marshall.
    I think between Matthew and Luke that Luke is more likely to be right. Luke has better historical credentials and Matthew often over reaches and plain just makes stuff up to try and fit OT prophecy.

    However if you want to rely of on any of the supposed claims of Sherwin-White or Marshall you will have to cite them properly. At the moment you seem to think that simply naming them makes your argument immune to criticism. Whereas in truth you just appear lazy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    Unless John and Luke had such radically different uses of Greek grammar, this is meaningless.
    Not at all. Every author has their own idiom and for your argument to have any force you would want an example of Luke using this construct. The very fact that all major translations don't think Luke meant before is reason enough to dismiss this an an errant theory. As I have said many time the theory entails the premise that Luke can be easily misinterpreted since for this theory to be true all major translations of the bible made thus far have misunderstood what Luke meant. And no one would even posit the theory that Luke meant the one before except motivated by the desire to harmonise Luke with Matthew.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    What would you know?
    Much more than you it seems. Judea was not annexed to Syria in 6BC and therefore a census of Syria would not have impacted Judea in the slightest. They were unconnected political units.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    They were almost as desperate as RW to find absurd "contradictions". And they were living much closer to the events than RW.
    Celsus' criticisms were not so much looking at contradictions between the gospels but rather demonstrating that the Christian doctrines that were borrowed from Greek philosophy and general ungodliness of the Jesus figure etc.

    As I already stated 150 years later a Greek, probably working in Egypt, is unlikely to know the exact date of Quitinius governorship in Syria 150+ years earlier and so the point is moot.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    And also shows how people have been aware of this for a long time.
    Yes aware of it and considered that it was "very perplexing". This is exactly the opposite of your original claim (last para of post #6 in this thread) that this disagreement between Matthew and Luke is the invention of "modern atheopaths".
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    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    As usual, one of our resident ChessChat atheopaths thinks he is the epitome of objectivity, while of course Christians are hopelessly biased. He is also a classic victim of the Dunning–Kruger effect, common in village atheopaths, in thinking that he is a reliable interpreter of the Greek. However, one or the other of my possible explanations is far more likely than the skeptics' claim that Luke mistook the well-known AD census by Quirinius. If that was the problem, there is simply no need to have the word protos at all: just say that it happened at the census by Quirinius. The word protos must imply that it was the first of more than one census by Quirinius, or it was one before that well-known one. There is perplexity about which of those two meanings is to be preferred, and I am in good company to prefer the meaning "before", but there are others who believe it means the first of two. What is can't mean is that it was the only census, an event Luke was well aware of. The article The Lukan Census cites a lot more scholarly discussion from specialists.
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    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    As usual, one of our resident ChessChat atheopaths thinks he is the epitome of objectivity, while of course Christians are hopelessly biased. He is also a classic victim of the Dunning–Kruger effect, common in village atheopaths, in thinking that he is a reliable interpreter of the Greek.
    Jono is lying here. I never said at any point that I interpreted any Greek. What I said is that every expert Greek translation performed to this day has not made the translation that Jono thinks solves the problem. Now why none of the major biblical translations make this interpretation is because it makes no sense and as pointed out, there is no example of Luke using this supposed idiom elsewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    However, one or the other of my possible explanations is far more likely than the skeptics' claim that Luke mistook the well-known AD census by Quirinius.
    No for the reasons I have already given both your supposed remedies are rubbish. I have given you the opportunity to support either of you supposed explanations with evidence but because you have none you just dishonestly repeat them as if there is no problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by Capablanca-Fan View Post
    If that was the problem, there is simply no need to have the word protos at all: just say that it happened at the census by Quirinius.
    Other censuses may have been held in Judea after it came under direct Roman rule in 6AD. However there is no historical evidence for any before and not even any believable scenario of how one could have possible taken place before 6AD let alone directed by Quirinius.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  15. #15
    CC FIDE Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    977
    Keep up the good work Rincewind. There is a reason why Jono's replies are getting shorter and shorter .... you are crushing him in this debate!
    Still searching for Bobby Fischer....
    and fighting against those humourless bureaucrats who are forever lost in the minutiae.

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